Super Bowl Props to Avoid
by Trevor Whenham - 2/4/2011
I love the betting aspect of the Super Bowl. Normally I am all about finding value, and value is very tough to find in this game -- much tougher than normal -- so it’s not really an attractive betting game. The spectacle of the game is just too much to resist, though -- the pageantry of the event, the craziness of the coverage, and the ridiculous brilliance of the betting options.
It’s the Super Bowl prop bets that really make the Super Bowl. There are more of them than anyone could really imagine, and more and more are offered every year. The real fun in the props is shopping through them looking for the ones that are interesting and potentially profitable. It forces you to think about games in ways you normally wouldn’t. When you do that shopping around, though, you can’t help but find some truly ridiculous props -- some that represent incredibly bad value. I’m talking about props that are only attractive to people who really hate money and are looking for surefire ways to get rid of it.
Here are five examples (odds are from Bodog unless otherwise noted):
What will the result of the coin toss be? - I love seeing this one every year because it’s so ridiculous. It’s a horrifyingly bad bet, yet every year there are dozens of discussions in the mainstream media about betting the Super Bowl coin toss -- and many of them talk about it seriously.
Just imagine if I offered you this deal -- we’re going to flip a coin a hundred times, and every time it’s heads Ill pay you $100, but every time it’s tails you owe me $105. You’d call me an idiot because I’m stealing your money. Yet thousands of people will spend tens of thousands of dollars this year making exactly the same deal.
In the dictionary under sucker’s bet there’s a picture of this prop -- right besides a picture of the bookmakers laughing with joy.
Will the game go into overtime? - At first glance some people are going to find this one attractive -- the ‘yes’ pays a juicy +650. The problem, though, is that in the 44 year history of the Super Bowl there hasn’t been a single overtime game. Not one. That means that this price doesn’t even come close to representing the risk involved in the bet.
Even if you expand the analysis to all playoff games this is still a lousy bet. There have been 22 overtime playoff games in the Super Bowl era. That’s one every two seasons. Betting on overtime at +650 would be a good way to go broke in the long term.
Will a punt hit the scoreboard? - Dallas has played two full seasons in their shiny new stadium. Plus two preseasons. How many times has the scoreboard bee hit in all those games? Once. And it was done intentionally.
The board has been raised, and it has never been a factor in a game. If kickers didn’t hit the scoreboard at least once in every eight punts then this prop -- which pays +750 -- would not be profitable in the long term. There have been a lot more than eight punts in this building. Terrible price. A price for suckers.
Who will the Fox announcers say has better hair during the game - Troy Polamalu or Clay Matthews? - Has it really come to this? Betting on Joe Buck and Troy Aikman’s opinions of hair styling? Really?!? The best part is that both sides pay -120, so not only are you being given the opportunity to bet on a ridiculously stupid prop, but you are being robbed blind for the privilege of doing so.
Will Big Ben hit on Fergie during half time? (from Sports Interaction) - This one couldn’t be more ridiculous. I’m quite sure that the bookmakers will break out in laughter every time they bring in a bet on this one.
This is stupid on every level. I’m sure that the quarterback in the Super Bowl -- never mind one who is recently engaged (reportedly) and who doesn’t have the best recent track record when it comes to relating to women -- will have nothing better to do at half time of the freaking Super Bowl than to hit on a married woman on international TV.
I’m also sure that the lead singer of the Black Eyed Peas will have nothing to do before playing in front of the biggest crowd a band can possibly play in front of other than flirt with the quarterback of one of the teams.
And I’m sure that security will be so slack that the two will be walking past each other at least once. This one pays +1500 if you are tempted -- and by tempted I mean if you are the stupidest person on the planet.
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